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King’s historic visit to Baghdad signals ‘new phase’ in Jordanian-Iraqi relations

‘Kingdom will continue to stand by Iraq’

By JT - Jan 14,2019 - Last updated at Jan 14,2019

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with Iraqi President Barham Saleh in Baghdad on Monday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — Iraqi President Barham Saleh on Monday said His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to Baghdad is a historic occasion for all Iraqis.

Speaking during talks with King Abdullah, Saleh expressed his country’s appreciation for His Majesty’s important visit, which signals the advanced level of ties between Jordan and Iraq, and will further enhance Jordanian-Iraqi cooperation, a Royal Court statement said.

At bilateral and expanded talks at As-Salam Palace in Baghdad, the King and Saleh stressed the deep-rooted brotherly ties between Jordan and Iraq, as well as  their keenness to expand cooperation in all areas that serve the two countries’ peoples.

His Majesty noted the strong ties between the two countries, affirming that Jordan stands by Iraq as it seeks to safeguard its security and stability, and works to fulfil the aspirations of the Iraqi people towards further prosperity and progress.

The two leaders stressed the importance of bilateral agreements in the economic, trade, investment, energy, transport and construction sectors.

Talks also covered current regional developments and the importance of maintaining coordination and consultation.

His Majesty and the Iraqi president affirmed the need to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis that preserves the territorial integrity of Syria and the unity of its people.

Efforts to fight terrorism and extremism within a holistic approach were also discussed, according to the statement.

Senior officials on both sides attended the talks.

Also on Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said that King Abdullah’s visit to Iraq has a major domestic and regional impact.

Speaking during a meeting with His Majesty in Baghdad, Abdul Mahdi noted that His Majesty’s visit signals the start of a new phase in Iraq, stressing that Jordan has historically had a special place in the heart of Iraqis.

“Jordan is the lung of Iraq, and Iraq is the lung of Jordan,” the prime minister was quoted in the statement as saying.

His Majesty, during the meeting at the Government Palace that was attended by senior officials on both sides, noted the advanced relations between Jordan and Iraq, expressing his keenness to enhance them further.

Talks focused on ways to expand cooperation under recently signed agreements, with the King and Abdul Mahdi agreeing to bolster cooperation in the economic, trade and investment sectors.

Discussions also covered the importance of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz’s recent visit to Baghdad, along with a ministerial delegation, and the two sides noted the need to exchange visits among public and private sector representatives in Jordan and Iraq to broaden bilateral cooperation and spearhead joint investments.

His Majesty and the Iraqi prime minister called for moving ahead with a number of joint economic projects, particularly the Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline, revamping the Amman-Baghdad road and establishing a joint economic zone in the border area.

In addition, discussions tackled the importance of increasing trade exchange, removing obstacles to the flow of Jordanian goods into the Iraqi market and capitalising on investment opportunities in the two countries.

Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi expressed appreciation for Jordan’s support for Iraq’s security and stability, while the King, who returned home later in the day, affirmed that Jordan will continue to stand by the Iraqi people in their efforts towards further progress and prosperity in their country.

Talks also covered regional developments and crises, with the two sides stressing the importance of maintaining coordination and consultation in service of mutual interests and Arab causes.

Moreover, efforts to fight terrorism were discussed, with His Majesty commending Iraq’s role in this regard.

An official welcoming ceremony had been held for the King at the Government Palace, where President Saleh also hosted a luncheon in honour of His Majesty and the accompanying delegation, attended by Abdul Mahdi and senior Iraqi officials.

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